The CBI has issued lookout notices against Bikas Mishra, brother of Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Binay Mishra who is a close confidant of party MP Abhishek Banerjee, in cases of illegal coal mining and cattle-smuggling, officials said on Saturday. The role of the brothers is under the scanner in both the cases. Binay Mishra has already been charge-sheeted in the cattle smuggling case and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is also contemplating to issue an Interpol Red Corner Notice against him as he has not joined the probe in either of the cases, they said.
The officials said that a look out notice informs all ports of entry to keep a tab on the movement of a suspect and nab the person if he or she tries to escape. The look out circular (LoC) against Bikas Mishra was issued in the illegal coal mining case recently while the LoC in the cattle smuggling case was issued earlier, they said.
The agency has summoned two senior officers of the West Bengal Police — an Inspector General and a Superintendent of Police — in connection with the cattle smuggling case on Monday for questioning, the officials said. The CBI had named Binay Mishra as co-accused in its supplementary chargesheet filed in February in the cattle smuggling case. Binay Mishra is believed to be close to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's nephew and TMC MP Abhishek Banerjee, the officials said.
In its charge sheet filed before a special CBI court in Asansol, the agency has already shown Binay Mishra as absconding in the cattle smuggling case. The CBI on February 18 had filed a charge sheet in the case against BSF Commandant Satish Kumar and six others for their alleged involvement in a cattle smuggling racket operating on the India-Bangladesh border.
The central probe agency recently questioned Abhishek Banerjee's wife Rujira and sister-in-law Menaka Gambhir in a separate case pertaining to illegal coal mining and pilferage from the mines of the Eastern Coalfields Limited. The assembly elections in West Bengal will be held in eight phases between March 27 and April 29, and the BJP is leading a vigorous campaign to oust the ruling TMC which had secured consecutive wins in 2011 and 2016 under its leader Mamata Banerjee.
Abhishek Banerjee, the Lok Sabha member from Diamond Harbour, wields considerable influence in the TMC.